January, 2010

Jan 10

Wild Mustang at Redwings Sanctuary

Photograph of a wild mustang horse at Redwings SanctuaryThis is a photograph of a wild mustang at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Lockwood, South Monterey County, California. Redwings rescues abused or neglected horses and offers some a permanent sanctuary. Redwings ranch is 167 acres and provides  permanent shelter for about 90 horses. This horse is one of a group of wild mustangs from Nevada originally slated for slaughter. This horse has the shaggy mane characteristic of many mustangs. With one eye covered, it makes an interesting portrait. Taken with a telephoto lens, 1/180th of a second at f/ 5.6.

Jan 10

Horse Portrait

Profile portrait of the head and neck of a horseAnother photograph from the horse portraits commission. Horses are not natural models. It is difficult to capture their beauty and intelligence. Their eyes, large and very dark, seem to absorb light rather than reflect catchlights. This was taken with a telephoto lens, 1/250th of a second at f/5, using fill flash to fill in the shadows.

Jan 10

Horse in Pasture

Horse in Pasture in Prunedale, CaliforniaThis photograph is one from a commission  for a series of horse portraits. The conditions for shooting were challenging; it was early afternoon with harsh overhead light. The pastures were a mix of bright sun and deep shadows under oak trees. Horses, I discovered, are not interested in posing. They are interested in food and in each other, not cameras. This was shot at 1/250th of a second at f/6.3 using a 17-55 mm lens. The horse is in sharp focus while the background shows the context for the shot.

Jan 10

Pelican Taking Flight

Pelican in flight at Moss Landing, CaliforniaThis pelican is taking off from underneath the Highway 1 bridge as it crosses Elkhorn Slough near the power plant in Moss Landing, California. The shutter speed was 1/400th of a second in order to freeze some of the motion. The head and eye and part of the body are in sharp focus while the wings are partially blurred, suggesting motion. The pelican seems to be flying out of the frame.

Jan 10

Foggy Day in Garrapata

Garrapata Beach is about 7 miles South of Carmel, California, and 18 miles North of Big Sur. This area, above the beach, was shrouded in fog. I liked the suggestion of a trail leading the eye from the lower left up and towards the fog. A trail that leads to mystery. Taken with a wide angle lens, 1/15th second at f/16.

Jan 10

Southern Oregon Coast

A bright but hazy day along the Oregon Coast. There was so much contrast between the dark rocks and the foam of the waves, that I thought this would be a strong black and white image. Taken with a telephoto lens at 135 mm, 1/400th of a second. Converted to black and white with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Jan 10

Boat Out of Water

I enjoyed the incongruity of a boat out of water. This old fishing boat is one of several that are part of a display to attract attention to a road side restaurant in Moss Landing, California. The boats are visible from Highway 1. This one is decorated with Christmas lights. I’m sure it has many stories to tell. I used a wide angle lens to take five one-stop bracketed exposures with an aperture of f/13 and blended them together into a single image.

Jan 10

Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach Arch Rock

The arch opening in the rock formation just offshore from Pfeiffer Beach creates opportunities for dramatic  images, but the great dynamic range of light poses a challenge. The interior of the arch is in complete shadow while the waves, foam and rock face are in direct sun. The camera can’t capture detail in both the shadows and the highlights. This capture is a RAW image exposed at 1/400th of a second at f/5 in order to freeze the action of the wave. The RAW image was reprocessed two more times, two stops above and two below the original. The resulting three images were combined into a High Dynamic Range image with Photomatix Pro.

Jan 10

Freezing Motion

I include this image for a change of pace from the Motion Blur series posted earlier. Rather than intentionally blurring the scene with a long exposure, this was 1/1000th of a second at f7.1. I used a 35mm lens. The location is along the Recreation Trail in Pacific Grove, California. Although the day was clear and bright, unusually large swells from a storm in Hawaii were crashing against the rocks.

Jan 10

Circular Motion and Intentional Blur

A pleasing effect is created by rotating the camera as the shutter is open, as I did on this image of flowers in my front yard. A more symmetrical  result is possible by using a tripod and a telephoto lens with a tripod collar. If the collar is loosened slightly while attached to the tripod, it is easy to rotate the camera about 180 degrees while the shutter is open.